Nicola Sturgeon brands Westminster voting system "unsuited" for modern politics

Nicola Sturgeon has slammed Westminster voting system
Nicola Sturgeon has slammed Westminster voting system
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Nicola Sturgeon has hit out at the Westminster voting system and claimed it is unsuited for an age of "multi-party politics."

Ms Sturgeon hinted that the Holyrood hybrid system of first-past-the-post and proportional representation (PR) is the better approach.

The SNP leader also ridiculed the antiquated system used by MPs to manually cast votes by trooping through lobbies at Westminster - compared the "up to date" electronic voting approach at Holyrood.

The traditional first-past-the-post set-up is widely seen as helping retain the dominance of the "big two" Conservative and Labour parties at Westminster. It has also seen the SNP seize a big majority of Scotland's seats in the past two elections, despite gaining fewer than half of the national vote.

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But the First Minister said during a Law Society of Scotland event today: "The Scottish Parliament was always envisaged as a place where parties would have to seek compromise and consensus.

"The use of proportional representation in elections is of course the key reason for that.

"By contrast the first past the post system used at Westminster is clearly unsuited to an age of multi-party politics.

"The claim that used to be made for it was that it delivered strong and stable Government. I'm not sure that The First Minister also claimed the drama of recent Brexit votes in the Commons has shone an unflattering light on the traditional voting techniques used by MPs at Westminster.

"The use of electronic voting means MSPs don't waste vast amounts of time trooping though lobbies," Ms Sturgeon added.

"I've spoken to many members of the public who perhaps for the first time have been watching the House of Commons throughout the Brexit chaos and fiasco who have been completely in horror at the amount of time they have to sit and wait just for votes in the House of Commons to take place.

"Our procedures and our ways of doing things I think are more up to date."